The Gustavian Weekly

The hidden truth

By Sherick Francous Staff Columnist | March 8, 2013 | Opinion

How can one trust the government in this day and age? <em>Creative Commons</em>

How can one trust the government in this day and age? Creative Commons

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How often does the thought: “what is the cost of war?” run across your mind. The question itself illustrates a double entendre; one can look at it as a simple question that entails a basic answer. Bypass the simplistic answer and consider how much more there is to this question.

When I consider this question, my mind marvels at the numerous hidden interpretations. To believe that the cost of war is associated only with money is to believe that everything we see in the media is truthful. The death casualties, the lasting psychological effects, and the moral decay are all pieces to the puzzle that define what I mean by “the cost of war.”

With that being said, should we not demand to know more from our government? Too many times an issue of great importance emerges, and no one will address the large elephant in the room, both citizens and government.

The invasion of Iraq was credited to “finding weapons of mass destruction,” yet none were ever found. The declaration of The War on Drugs was credited to termination and reduction of illegal drug trade. Yet, the United States is documented with the highest incarceration rate and total prison population in the world today. Is it not the right of the people to demand that the government adhere to the issues of humanity?

Instances are still plaguing the United States—the invasion of Iraq has resulted in half a decade of civil war and political instability within the country. It was accounted that during his press release President Bush admitted that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Nothing was found, but still it took over eight years to withdraw from Iraq. No questions were asked, nor was the truth revealed.

As of 2009, the War on Drugs has blatantly declared the United States as the most dangerous country. Imprisonment in the United States reaches 2.3 million, costing $24,000 per inmate per year, and $5.1 billion in new prison construction, amounting to $60.3 billion in budget expenditures. An issue that clearly affects the economy and social values of society is again the elephant in the room that goes unnoticed.

Is it not the purpose of the government to address the issues that threaten the life, liberty, and well being of its people? Failure to adhere to its function, the people are inclined to insinuate revolution against the government. The people have an absolute right to judge and demand that the government reveal information they may deem harmful. It is arguable that the government conceals information in precaution to the safety and well being of the people. But if the people are not demanding more or questioning their government on the existing problems, it should be of no surprise when turmoil erupts.

Just recently Bradley Manning admitted to revealing the largest sum of U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks.

“I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information … this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general,” Manning said.

If Manning believed that the information he exposed to the public could spark “domestic debate,” it should make one wonder about the level of discrepancy that exists between the people and government, as well as why the general public lacks access to information that poses a possible harm to humanity. Was it not John Locke who believed that the revolution is not only a right but also an obligation in some circumstances?

So why wait, and allow the level of discrepancy to fester, when all there is to do is question the actions that are being taken along with utilizing the advances made in technology to access information that may not always be televised? [I have a two-sided view on technology, however it will be used to help support this idea—more to come on that].

There comes a time when the people will demand the hidden truths from the government. However, we the people will be at fault if we continue to show a blind eye to whatever matter at hand. Allowing a problem to fester only prolongs the damage and causes more conflict. So we need not sit around but start advocating the rights that have been naturally bestowed upon us.